Remember that stunk that BlackBerry maker RIM pulled to get Android developers to submit their apps to the BlackBerry App World? You know, the one that essentially gives away the company’s one and only tablet to anyone willing to jump ship? After an excited initial response from Android developers, RIM has decided to extend the promotional program by two weeks. Devs, get those fingers in gear and head on over to the BlackBerry FAQ to get the skinny – you’ve got until March 2nd to submit your app, but only until February 15th (Wednesday) to sign up.
If you’re wondering why RIM is wooing Android devs, it’s because they’ve developed a system for porting Android applications to the PlayBook with relative ease. The company supplies a set of tools and requirements for getting Android apps on the BlackBerry App World, where they can be downloaded and run on the PlayBook’s OS 2.0 software update (not regular Blackberry phones). The PlayBook’s software architecture shares enough DNA with Android that it’s reportedly pretty easy to bring one app to the other, and vice versa.
And man, the PlayBook needs all the help it can get. Originally launched at $500 (with a form factor and internals roughly equal to the Nook Color) the BlackBerry PlayBook can now be had for half that at many online retailers, and BlackBerry apparently still has enough to literally give away. RIM’s market share has been steadily declining ever since Android hit the market. Still, if apps make the platform as popular wisdom dictates, then they’ve got a pretty good strategy – so long as developers can actually sell the apps that they port.